Monthly Archives: February 2019

What to Use to Clean Pebble Rock Flooring

Since pebble stone flooring includes multiple unique pebbles, and acids can etch certain kinds of stones, avoid cleaning them with acid-based goods such as vinegar, ammonia or lemon juice. Rather, use pH-neutral cleaning solutions to help keep your floor looking its very best. When in doubt, contact the company that installed the floors for their suggestions.

Gentle Detergents

For exposed Ground flooring which is made up of several small stones, use mild detergents with an alkaline base to wash it. Harsh chemicals such as household bleach and ammonia can deteriorate or etch the surface of some of the pebbles from the flooring, particularly in case the seams come from travertine, limestone, marble or granite. As it is better to be cautious, about a 1/4 cup of vegetable-based detergent mixed with a gallon of warm water and a soft bristle brush or brush should do the trick.

Steam Cleaning

Wet the ground, and wash it down with a mild alkaline or pH-neutral detergent mixed with water. For deep cleaning, a handheld steam cleaner loosens old grime and dirt. Hold the steam cleaner about 3 to 6 inches over the pebble flooring to eliminate the old dirt, and rinse it with clean water let the ground dry. This works particularly well in a shower or bath with soap scum buildup.

Stone Cleaners

While some retailers recommend cleaning pebble stones with a hydrochloric acid, never use acid products unless you know the seams from the floors can handle the harsh compound. Choose from a number of neutral pH-balanced proprietary cleaners after dampening the floors with clean water. Allow the cleaner to sit down on the ground’s surface for 3 to 5 minutes. After waiting, agitate the cleaner on the ground with a string or wax mop, or utilize a soft-bristle brush to wash the ground. Rinse it with clean water.

Pebble and Epoxy Floors

Pebbles embedded in epoxy actually can be washed in an assortment of ways. When epoxy pebble flooring is installed outdoors, wash it down and wash it with a pressure washer and a mild detergent. For indoor flooring, clean it with a gallon bucket of hot water mixed with a mild detergent. Remove soapy deposits by rinsing it with clean water and let it dry.

Protective Seal Coat

If you have exposed pebble flooring set in grout, then seal the grout as well as the floors at least once a year to help the seams resist stains and discoloration. Since many of the pebbles in such floors are porous, they stain readily. Wipe up any spills that could stain the pebble flooring immediately. A baking soda paste or proprietary clay-based poultice eliminates stains from some pebble flooring.

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How to Cure Pine Scale

Pine needle scale insects feed on the sap from the needles. Pine trees (Pinus spp.) , which grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, depending on the variety, are mainly susceptible to the scale insect Chionaspis pinifoliae. A large population can weaken a pine, but even small infestations can affect the health and appearance of this tree.

What to Look For

Egg-laying feminine scales develop a white armor coating and measure about 3 mm long, while the males are slightly smaller. After they settle down to feed and lay eggs in their adult form, they no longer move. Young mounts hatch from yellow eggs twice annually in mid-spring and midsummer. They move through this early phase and are bright red in colour, so that they are sometimes referred to as reddish spiders. The protective wax armor adults makes treatment difficult, but you can destroy the unarmored red spiders in case you catch them right after hatching.

A Speedy Trim

Light pruning can control minor pine scale coverings. Disinfect pruning shears or a pruning saw by wiping with rubbing alcohol after each cut so you don’t propagate the insects to wood. Only cut badly infested branches back to your nearest healthy wood, or remove the entire branch back to its foundation. Destroy the clippings after ripped so that the insects do not infest another tree.

Ant Control

A high population of ants around or on a pine tree can raise the population of scale insects, since the ants care for those scales so that they could crop the sticky honeydew the scales secrete. Ant bait setup around the tree will eventually kill the ants, but keeping them off the tree and off in the scales is necessary in the brief term. Wrap the pine trunk with a 6-inch broad piece of tree wrap, pushing the wrap to any crevices on the bark. Cover the wrap with a thin coat of a sticky material made for ants that are crocheted. The ants can’t cross the material to make it to the scales above. Replace the wrap every year and remove it promptly if it begins to constrict the trunk.

Pesticide Pointers

Horticultural oils and soaps have limited effectiveness since the armor on the scales helps shield them. Large pine trees can also be hard to spray, so well timed soap and oil sprays work best on smaller landscape pines. Apply an oil and soap insecticide once the crawlers are going. You can track for spiders by wrap double-sided tape around infested divisions, and then tracking the tape daily with a magnifying glass before the tape begins trapping the insects. Set a hose-end sprayer to employ 1.5 ounces of 22.5 percent carbaryl pesticide per 1 gallon of water, and then completely coat the pine with the spray. Pesticides are best implemented on dry days, and they may need reapplication at midsummer throughout the second crawler stage. Wear gloves and skin and eye protection when using a pesticide.

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Companion Plants for Astilbes

Once a bridesmaid and now often a bride, astilbes (Astilbe spp.) Have become more and more prominent in shade gardens. The loyalty of George Arends along with other hybridizers have transformed these Asian natives bloomers from delicate Victorian woodland bloomers to sturdy manufacturers of rich, vibrant plumes. Enhance the color and texture that these hardy perennials bring about the summer garden using plants that share astilbe’s love of shade.

At the Astilbe Garden

With varieties suited to gardens from U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, astilbe has got its position in the summer shade bed. Provide well-draining, loamy soil rich in organic matter, similar to the forest floor. Astilbe does best with constant moisture, though it cannot tolerate water. Short periods of early morning or daylong dappled shade may intensify blossom colour. Expect three or more weeks of vibrant blooming. Arendsii Sensors (Astilbe x arendsii) blossom in May or June, though other varieties (Astilbe japonica, Astilbe chinensis) blossom mid- to late-summer, based on variety. Blossoms and leaf fade to tan after booming.

Woodland Friends

Because woodland natives, members of the rhododendron family (Rhododendron spp.) Share a tolerance for acid soil conditions with astilbe, in addition to the ability to blossom in dappled or partial shade. Astilbes develop in a variety of shapes, from 12- to 18-inch “Sprite” (Astilbe simlicifolia “Sprite”) and also 12-inch-tall “Punila” (Astilbe chinensis “Punila”) to “Superba” (Astilbe chinensis var. Taquetii “Superba”), which can grow to 4 to 5 feet tall, offering a variety of methods to mix astilbes using rhododendrons or azaleas, extending your season of color from late spring through mid-summer. The requirement to transplant astilbe every few years enhances your lodging of rhododendron or azalea growth to mature size. Many azaleas and rhododendrons grow in USDA zones 4 through 9, based on species and cultivar.

Hot Hostas

Take a new look in the traditional mixture of hostas (Hosta spp.) with astilbes. Generally based on their common shade conditions, the blend can be visually exciting for several other reasons. Hosta leaf is at its fullest in midsummer, when astilbe foliage fades and withers, making the blues, greens, golds and whites of hostas a specific advantage to a formerly vibrant bed. Hosta flowers also tend to look as astilbe stops blooming, including a new layer of floral spires into the bed. Blue hostas develop specific thickness of color in shade, whilst gold varieties may require some sun to flip leaves from chartreuse to gold. The flowers vary from dark to light lavender and white, some of them ornate and fragrant. Hostas generally grow in USDA zones 3 through 9.

Feathery Ferns

Several varieties of shade-loving fern additionally tackle the fading foliage and flower plumes left behind when astilbe finishes thriving. Holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum “Rodfordianum”) needs that the constant moisture favored by astilbes and creates a profusion of dark green, glossy leaves in USDA zones 6 through 10. At two to three feet tall and 18 inches wide, holly fern functions as an excellent pre- and also post-bloom filler for astilbe. Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum “Pictum”) grows to 12 to 18 inches high and grows in USDA zones 4 through 9. Silver- or even red-tinged stems and silvery leaves create high interest whether the astilbes are thriving or not.

Ringing the Bells

A relative of astilble, coral bells (Heuchera spp.) Have benefited from whales’ attention as much as astilbe. Hardy in USDA zones 3 through 10, based on variety, most coral bows feature a 12-inch-high, 12- to 24-inch-wide rosette of ruffly leaves, topped with 2-foot spires of small flowers that appear in late spring and sporadically during the summer. Once available in green along with a brownish bronze, coral bell leaf can now be found in shades of purple, wine, red, orange, copper and yellow-greens. While sun can intensify foliage colours, coral bells need partial shade to avoid burning their leaves.

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12 Ways to Get the Industrial Search for Less

In the original converted old factories and warehouses which caught the eye of artists and designers looking for more affordable rents, to the sleek contemporary lofts, industrial style has caught on and stuck. It is more popular than ever and shows no signs of going anywhere — and naturally, with popularity comes a higher price tag. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune to have the appearance. With a little bit of creativity and persistence, you are able to pull together genuine finds, DIY projects and budget bits to present your mat cool industrial fashion. Here are 12 strategies to bring a bit or a great deal of industrial style to your home for less.

Lucy Call

1. Sawhorse as clothing rack. The industrial appearance is all about utility — and what might be more functional than a sawhorse? Pick up one of these at the hardware store, down it in your bedroom and toss that set of Levi’s over it instead of in a heap on the floor.

Gaile Guevara

2. DIY modern photo display. Utilizing cable and horn cleats (like they use on ships) or mounts, create your own distinctive display space for your favorite photos — white and black, naturally.

Marco Polo Imports

3. Shop the army-navy surplus shop. Pick up real-deal army blankets, trunks and tin plates to the kitchen at bargain costs at your local surplus shop. Rough wool blankets are superwarm and hard, and they look fantastic on beds, on sofas or simply stacked on a shelf. Browse through your local shop with a watch to repurposing — you never know what treasure you could unearth.

The Desalpes Company

4. Turn a military blanket into a pillow. Old army blankets holes in them may be frequently be seen at a discounted price — simply cut off the unusable part and sew the fantastic part into a new pillow cover. You might also use parts of wool blankets to cover a seat cushion in an armchair or a couch.

Moger Mehrhof Architects

5. Move thrifting for metal seats. Metalwood, or metal and wood, chairs can deliver an industrial vibe into any area. These are fantastic pieces to hunt for in thrift stores and in the yard sales, since (unlike with upholstered pieces) you do not need to worry about concealed mold or bugs.

FJ Interior Design

6. Paint it black. Paint anything black for an instant industrial upgrade. Paint the foundation of an old claw-foot bathtub, your trimming, the radiators, picture frames — actually, the sky is your limit.

Gaile Guevara

7. Dip paint something black. Strong black a modest ho-hum? Try dip painting instead. Unless you’re painting a small thing, like the use of a wooden spoon, then you might actually wish to tape off the part you would like to keep paint loose (or use a rubber band), and utilize a brush-on or spray paint to coat the rest, instead of dipping the item in paint. I really like the combination of rustic old wood along with a lick of black paint, as with all the stump shown here. Seat and table legs are another natural choice for dip painting.

Julie Ranee Photography

8. DIY pipe bookcases. Pipe fittings and wood planks from the hardware shop could be transformed to a rustic industrial shelving unit in as little time for a weekend.

How to make an industrial-style shelving unit

Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

9. Put great big casters on an old table. Oversize casters and other wheels are hallmarks of their industrial appearance. Why don’t you place an old wooden coffee table on casters instead of spending an opportunity to buy a new dining table? If you’re feeling particularly tricky, I bet you could make something quite awesome with a reclaimed wood plank top, pipe fittings and classic wheels.

Lucy Call

10. Hang an American flag. Raw, bare concrete floors and white walls bring the American flag into industrial territory. The flag makes a big announcement, so depart the surrounding walls clean for maximum effect. And also to display it correctly, be sure to hang it with all the celebrities on the upper left.


11. Galvanized culvert as planter. Search Craigslist to get a freebie culvert segment — if it’s too big, you are able to pay to get it trimmed to your specifications. These perform as is outside, but if you added a bottom and complete the top edge they would make amazing planters inside the house.

Gaile Guevara

12. Stick with a palette that is black and gray. One of the easiest methods to master this appearance is by limiting your decoration to a fairly strict palette of black, white and gray, with some natural wood thrown (the more worn, the greater). Shop budget-friendly shops for beds, bedding, pillows, towels and much more, in colors of grey, white and black — solid colors like these generally look great at any price point, so why spend more?

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6 Design Suggestions for Happy Pets

Being around nonthreatening animals, domesticated or otherwise, calms humans. The reason for this seems buried in our prehistory: Back then when we had been around other animals and all was calm, that meant predators were not lurking nearby, about to vie. Plus, the weather was likely fine.

When we’re less stressed we now have more mental energy at our disposal to do whatever we’ve set out to accomplish, whether that is having a good time hanging out with household members, writing a book or planning dinners for the next week. But there’s a catch: Having animals in our home is excellent for us psychologically only if these animals are happy and healthy. They add to the strain in our lives if they’re not. (A moping dog or a out-of-sorts cat does not improve anyone’s day.)

The good thing is that layout can make animals happier, just as it can people. You can produce a home where your pets feel as great as you do. It is hard to read the heads of pets, but when you learn about them as they spend time in your home, you’ll discover ways you may create your special animal buddy feel especially happy. Here are only a few ways to keep pets in great spirits.

Photo by user Downijd, from 50 Dog Photos Worth a Wag

Famous Luxury Homes

1. Some privacy, please! Make sure that your pet has privacy. Cats feel comfortable in their litter boxes whenever they’re at a room all their own.

Dogs may need a place in your home where they can get away from demanding kids or loud music, too. A covered kennel, doghouse or bed at a laundry area might be just the thing.

Betty’s Room, LLC

2. Create sheltered spaces for pets to lounge in. Pets want places where they can decompress, just as you do. Those areas do not always have to be completely away from humans, however. Our pets are societal but great at self-preservation, just like we are.

Many animals, including humans, feel protected when danger can not creep upon them. While in the present world that is not as likely as tens of thousands of years ago, we’re still hardwired to believe that way.

So providing a safe spot where a pet can definitely let down their guard is vital. This feline feels at peace because the chair has a high back and can be at a corner, assuring the cat that nothing is going to creep up. Provide that security and you’ll have a serene, happy pet.

Diskin Designs

3. Construct in a opinion. Pets will need to survey their land. Being able to look out the window while relaxing, as cats and dogs can perform with this cushioned shelf, is desirable.

In case you don’t have windows that are high, consider putting a safe pet gate in an opened door that leads outside.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

4. Let in scents and sounds. Animals rely on smells and sounds more than humans do. To let them feel safe, having open windows enables them to hear and smell what is lurking in their environment.

5. For exercising include places. Cats like climbing on cat trees, shelves, furniture, and anything that enables movement and elevates them off the floor. Small dogs like being able to run down long hallways without slipping and slipping, so add carpeting when possible.

6. Support aging pets. As pets get older, their needs vary, just as humans’ do. Recognizing those changes will prolong the positive relationship you’ve got with your pet.

Dogs’ joints, such as ours, stiffen up when they become older. Senior dogs like eating from a bowl put on a stand or brief bench that raises the bowl large enough above the floor so they can eat at a standard standing posture — no need to reduce the front part of the body or head too much.

Your turn What is your pet’s favorite place in your property?

So You Wish to Get a Cat
So You Are Considering Getting a Dog

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Strange but True Parallels Between Old Japanese Style and Western

If you have wabi-sabi inclinations, finding this Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and impermanence feels like coming home. Most of us have been feeling the little-known philosophy’s likeness, whether we’ve known it or not, for the majority of our lives. That is because Western style changed toward a comparable wabi-sabi simplicity centuries past.

No-frills style has permeated all the significant Western design movements that still influence contemporary trends. The plain, efficient houses built by the utopian Shakers (the antithesis of the luxurious Georgian homes that were constructed since the usa got wealthier) along with the easy, unsentimental Arts and Crafts designs of William Morris and Gustav Stickley (a response to Victorian repression and the Industrial Revolution’s isolation), keep the wabi-sabi markers. As do Frank Lloyd Wright’s unadorned, compact Prairie houses — which he called”wallpapers for the life within their walls”– along with the Slow Design movement of now that urges designers to satisfy real needs over trend.

In another couple of weeks, I’ll Have a Look at Western design’s wabi-sabi-like historical path. Here I’ll analyze how a simpler fashion emerged in the mid- to late 18th century and the early 1900s, when industrialization was forcing paradigm changes that heavily influenced design.


In the mid- to late 18th century, the Shaker aesthetic — showing that an ascetic pursuit of simplicity and efficiency that was free of decoration and embellishment — took hold. Westerners were attracted to the style, which was just a look; it was actually prescribed at the Shaker holy orders. Beadings, moldings and cornices that are only for elaborate might not be created by believers, goes the edict.


Chester Console Table – $97.98

When Japanese architect Tadao Ando first seen the USA in the 1970s, he wrote home about Shaker furniture. He admired its extreme simplicity and reserve, which he said had a controlling and ordering influence on the surroundings (high praise from a man who designs the surroundings). “Technically, the furniture was made without a waste of any kind,” he wrote. “At the excellent diversity of modern times, to experience objects representing an extreme simplification of life and form was very refreshing.”

William Morris Compton Wallpaper

In 1889 housekeeping expert Emma Hewitt called surplus, cluttered Victorian decor”the American disorder” and urged homemakers to”have beauty only in which it’s needed and appropriate.” As the telegraph, railroads and steam electricity accelerated stuffy and everything, brocaded Victorian parlors signaled riches and standing, William Morris began his campaign for a return to handmade quality and the passing of inessential decoration. This ideal is at the origin of wabi-sabi, too.

Morris — a socialist whose naturally dyed, hand-printed backgrounds (one is shown here) were cherished by the robber barons — railed publicly and prolifically against what he called the”swinish luxury of the wealthy,” decorative surplus (“gaudy gilt furniture writhing under a sense of its horror and ugliness,” he explained ) and also the poverty of people who lacked imagination. “Have nothing in your home you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful,” he said — now one of the most often-repeated lines at home decorating.

Gardner Architects LLC

Morris despised fussy, cluttered Victorian decor, and he was a vocal critic of houses being constructed during the era. “It is common today to hear people say of such and such a piece of nation or suburb:’Ah! It was so beautiful a season or so ago, but it’s been quite spoilt by the construction,”’ he wrote. “Forty decades ago the construction could have been looked on as a vast improvement; today we have grown conscious of the hideousness we are generating, and we proceed on producing it.”

Kim Hojnacki Photography

Morris urged his pupils and disciples to continuously seek beauty in life’s mundane details. “For when a man cannot find the noblest motives for his artwork in such simple daily things as a woman drawing water from the well or a man cooperating with his scythe, he won’t find them anywhere at all,” he said. “What you really do love are your men and women, your flowers and areas, your hills and mountains, and all these are what your artwork should represent to you.”

Saying that a well-shaped bread loaf and a beautifully set table were works of art as good as the day’s revered masterpieces, Morris’ successor as the Arts and Crafts pioneer, W.R. Lethaby, claimed that modern society was”overly concerned with notions of genius and fantastic performers to appreciate common things of life designed and executed by common people.”

His and others’ appreciation for the beauty in everyday life resides now. I believe this simple, beautiful bowl of blueberries could make Lethaby and wabi-sabi followers grin.

Stickley Furniture

As the top spokesman for the American Craftsman movement, which evolved from England’s Arts and Crafts movement, Gustav Stickley attracted easy, creatively made furniture to the American masses at the end of the 19th century.

Stickley employed”only those forms and substances which cause simplicity, individuality, and dignity of impact,” he said. He and his family lived in a simple log cabin, of which he wrote:”First, there is the bare beauty of the logs themselves with their long lines and firm curves. Then there is the open allure felt of these structural features which aren’t concealed under plaster and decoration, but are clearly revealed, a charm felt in Western architecture.”

Because This picture demonstrates, Stickley’s easy, classic furniture remains a staple in homes Across the World.

Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

Victorian clutter and crafts and crafts simplicity managed to reside side by side for several decades, before Frank Lloyd Wright wedged his wabi-sabi-like notions about organic architecture deep into the American mind in the early 20th century.

Rooms should be”wallpapers for the life within their walls,” said Wright in describing the compact fashion, with a noticeable absence of decoration and decoration, of his Prairie houses. Just to be certain nobody missed this stage (people rarely did), he added emphatically,”And no junk!”

More: 4 Obstacles to Decluttering — and How to Beat Them

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Herb Garden Essentials: Boost Your Own Oregano and Marjoram

If you love to cook, consider growing oregano and its sibling, sweet marjoram. They are pretty foolproof, perfect for beginner anglers. They are also a great addition to any number of dishes, and you can easily freeze or dry them.

The real issue is deciding which type to grow. Common oregano (Origanum vulgare) can be easily available, but it takes a culinary backseat to Greek and Italian oregano, known for their spicy flavor, and sweet marjoram, using a milder flavor that’s great for seasoning vegetables and vinaigrettes.

More summer crops

Missouri Botanical Garden

Oregano varieties are generally the taller and faster growing of both, reaching up to two feet. Sweet marjoram is a little bigger and slower to reach its complete 1-foot height. Both are perennials in warm weather climates but are often grown as annuals. It is ideal to begin from seedlings. You will want to smell and taste the leaves to be sure you’re getting a variety you desire.

You will also find other oregano varieties available that make colorful culinary and ornamental additions to a herb garden. The requirements will be the same. Once you’ve got your staple varieties in good shape, it can be time for you to experiment.

Light requirement: Full sun; might need some afternoon shade in the hottest summer climates
Water necessity: Little to your
Prime growing season: late spring through fall
When to plant: Spring into summer
Favorites: Greek Steak (Origanum vulgare hirtum, O. heracleoticum), Italian Steak (O. x majoricum), sweet marjoram (O. majorana)

Missouri Botanical Garden

Planting and care: Choose a place in sunlight once all the danger of frost has passed and the soil temperature is fairly warm. The plants are not fussy about soil types but do require decent drainage. Amend the soil before planting, then space seedlings about 12 inches apart for sweet marjoram and 12 to 18 inches apart for oregano. You might also grow sweet and sweet marjoram in pots at least 6 inches broad.

To prevent the plants from becoming woody, cut them back to 4 to 6 inches about a month after planting, then again in midsummer and early fall if climbing them as perennials. Cut back completely or split every few years to replenish the plants and fertilize lightly once per year at the spring.

Pests and diseases generally don’t bother oregano, even though there are occasional problems with rots, spider mites and aphids. Sweet marjoram is similarly trouble free, though whiteflies and rust can sometimes cause problems.

Habitat Design

Harvest: Begin harvesting when crops reach 6 to 8 inches tall. Cut fresh leaves as the flower buds form to the best flavor. You might observe a growth spurt right before flowering.

Freeze or dry the leaves for more storage; additionally harvest before the plants bloom. For the best results select the leaves when they’re dry.

More essential herbs: How to Grow Basil

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Fantastic Native Plant: Angelita Daisy

The sunny flowers of angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis)will brighten almost any landscape, but if you look past the pretty flowers of this Southwestern native, you will find that it packs a few surprises. Angelita daisies flourish in the hot temperatures of summer and manage the cold of USDA climate zone 5 as easily. If you need a colorful perennial along a pathway, by a pool or in a container, then angelita daisy can fill that desire. And as if which weren’t enough, this tough little perennial flowers year-round in zones 8 and over, making it a fantastic addition to every garden.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Botanical name:Tetraneuris acaulis (previously Hymenoxys acaulis)
Common name: Angelita daisy
Origin: Native to the American Southwest
USDA zones: 5 to 9 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Low
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 1 foot tall and broad
Tolerances: Drought tolerant but does best with weekly watering
Seasonal attention: Yellow daisy-like flowers appear throughout the year in zones 8 and over. In zones 5 to 7, it is going to go dormant in winter months.
When to plant: Plant from container plants in spring or autumn.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Distinguishing attributes. Yellow 1-inch daisies are borne over dark green, grass-like foliage, forming a tidy and compact perennial. This tough little plant is a workhorse in the backyard. Blooms appear throughout the year in low desert areas, with most flowers emerging in spring. In higher elevations angelita daisies will stop flowering in winter, but they will restart blooming once the weather warms in spring.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

The best way to use it. Angelita daisies are extremely versatile in the landscape and look best when planted together in masses of five or three. Dress up a lonely boulder by planting three angelita daisies toward the side, or plant collections along a winding pathway.

Because yellow-flowering plants help the other colours in your landscape pop, angelita daisy looks great paired with succulents like agave and purple prickly pear (Opuntia violaceae var santa-rita,zones 8 to 11). Other choices include planting it with firecracker penstemon (Penstemon eatoni,zones 5 to 9)or in front of Baja fairy duster (Calliandra californica,zones 9 to 11).

Need a yellow-flowering perennial for your container garden? Angelita daisies do good in pots and are equally at home by a swimming pool.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Planting notes. Angelita daisies are very low maintenance and have a few basic requirements to help them look their best: well-drained soil, full sun and extra water. Don’t be concerned about fertilizer; they do best without it.

This Southwest native looks best when the flowers are sheared back every month or two, which raises the amount of new flowers.

Angelita daisies can manage places with full, reflected sunlight. Hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, they will make themselves at home in almost any landscape and include attractiveness throughout the year with very little fuss.

More guides to yellow flowers

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5 Modern Home Exteriors Tell a Texture Story

Every now and then I like to zoom in on homes and the materials they are made from. This ideabook investigates the textures that may be expressed through concrete, wood, stone, metal and even rammed earth.

The examples that follow move from the macro to the micro, from the distant view into the close-up, showing the qualities that might not be apparent at first glance. Check them out to see if these textures may work for your project, be it the walls of your home, a freestanding wall in your lawn or maybe a partition inside.

Kariouk Associates

1. House in Chelsea, Quebec

The exterior of this house in Quebec is made from industrial concrete blocks. But instead of a running bond or some other stacked pattern, Kariouk Associates composed the blocks into a pinwheel pattern. It makes the boxy exterior appear woven.

Kariouk Associates

Up close the variation from the surface — tough, not smooth — comes. This offers the exterior a few interesting shadow patterns once the sun reaches the right angles. It also demonstrates that feel may come about through the exploitation of the cheapest, most mundane materials.

Cornerstone Architects

This Texas home, made by Cornerstone Architects, consists primarily of two materials: limestone and concrete. Both seem fairly flat and monolithic, though the latter does have a couple horizontal openings occurring on the left side above and beneath a opening in the wall socket.

Cornerstone Architects

This gap, angled back on one side (it is really angled back on both sides, framing a view of the trees), accentuates the plasticity of the poured-in-place concrete. Given that wet concrete is poured into a mould so it can heal, dry and take a form, the material demonstrates the residue of its own formwork. Here flat wood planks have been used, as the “ghost” of these is visible.

Cornerstone Architects

Concrete can be used in this home for the chimney and freestanding walls (detached from the home’s exterior walls). Thus the limestone makes up the walls enclosing your home.

This is an aesthetic option, but it will add to the cost. Obviously, it also gives the walls a finer scale and a softer color than the concrete.

Cornerstone Architects

The limestone is also used inside, accentuating the monolithic nature of the walls (insulating material has most probably been placed between the inside and outside faces, although the wall appears strong through and through).

At this space a few things are evident: The mortar suits the limestone so well, it disappears at a space, and the feel of the stone actually exhibits how it had been created; one can see via the curved outlines how big discs cut through the stone at the quarry.

Imbue Design

2. Buddhist’s Home in Utah

One of the most unique aspects of this Buddhist’s home in Utah is the way the walls appear to grow up from the ground. The home appears to be produced from the rock upon which it sits. This occurs through construction with gabion walls — big stones are stored in wire baskets.

Imbue Design

The feel of gabion walls comes in the colour and size of the stones and the kind of basket — here. While normally used for retaining walls and highway embankments, gabion walls are somewhat well known in buildings.

But provided fire codes, they can not be the principal arrangement (lest the baskets fail and the stones fall), and the stones don’t protect or chalk almost well enough to be used for a key wall.

Within this house they are on the surface of a strong wall that is more typical on the interior. But nothing else out there resembles a gabion, if that is the look you are going for.

The building zone, ltd..

3. Model Home at Arizona

This construction is a sales centre that serves as a model home for a distinctive modern desert improvement in Sedona, Arizona. The dark metal stands out from the desert context, but the rammed earth origins the home in its own place, echoing the bluff outside.

The building zone, ltd..

The combination of stained concrete flooring, wood ceilings and rammed-earth walls generates a feeling of being suspended in the place.

Rammed earth is among the oldest construction approaches; it dropped out of use with modernization but is finding new life as buildings attempt to become sustainable. Obviously, the desert is perfect for the substance, provided its thermal mass and capacity to radiate heat during the cool night after absorbing it daily.

What I like about this particular wall of rammed earth is the method by which the formwork anchors continue to be from the wall, projecting from it like hooks. These reveal the horizontal layers where the wall has been constructed, compacting one layer, then moving the forms to another level etc.

Yamamar layout

In most ways rammed earth and concrete are similar; they approach a similar hardness, however, one is made by compaction while the other is treated. However both are built up from the bottom up (excluding sprayed-on concrete) and therefore exhibit a layering that can be pronounced to lesser or greater degrees. This garage in Portola Valley, California, actually accentuates the flat layering.

Yamamar layout

Up close we can see the banding occurs from stripes of concrete bumped out of the wall. This is the end result of spacing the formwork apart ever so slightly, so the concrete may fill the gap (an outer cover into the shape will keep it from spilling out). It’s an imperfect method; hence a few segments drop off in the procedure.

Yamamar layout

On a negative note, the weapon that parallels the garage appears to be inspired by the concrete (or vice versa) with its less-than-true horizontal pieces.

Vladimir Radutny Architects

4. Loft in Chicago

For the past two examples, we move indoors. To get a loft in Chicago, Studio IDE made a few wood partitions with a wavy pattern that comes in the articulation of wood slats.

Vladimir Radutny Architects

The building of the alternating wood pine strips is more understandable up close, but it is still complicated enough that it is hard to fully grasp what’s happening. A door or wall similar to this would be expensive custom created, but a DIY woodworker would definitely have a burst tackling a similar project.

Bates Masi Architects LLC

5. Home in New York State

The modern-day hearth within this New York country home, made by Bates Masi Architects, is a standout, even as its vertical members replicate the walls and ceiling.

Instead of wood, the enclosure is made from bronze strips that were digitally trimmed and then patinated onsite.

Bates Masi Architects LLC

The strips are actually L-shaped, with the brief leg overlapping the adjacent strip — a shingle of sorts. This literally gives the enclosure some a feel that elevates the hearth to some bit of art.

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